The KaRen community of Spokane hosted a KaRen New Years Celebration at the East Central Community Center in our neighborhood this last Saturday. There was around 200 people, tons of traditional food, music, singing, dance, formal presentations, speeches and gift giving as well as teen competitions in singing.This dance number was about 10 minutes and they had been practicing at the church for about 3 months. It was beautiful. I was moved by the elegance, the passion, the joy and the experience of being able to see it all and witness a new chapter in their peoples lives. I had the privilege of speaking at the event and I shared some of the history of the gospel coming to Burma. The gospel came to Burma through the ministry of American missionary, Adoriam Judson; it was through the seed of prayer, sacrifice, sadness, leaving friends and family and even death (three wives) that Jesus became Lord of these people. That small seed was planted and this weekend we had the honor of still seeing the fruit of that seed over a 100 years later. I was inspired.
Being a refugee is not an easy adventure, I have the most respect for my Karen friends. They have suffered and do suffer greatly, but press on, often singing. I would never had dreamed where planting a church would take us...and as I stood on the platform and looked out over all those wonderful Karen people...I found a deep gratitude to the Lord for the privilege to serve them.
Here are a few pictures from the event.